Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital getting $15M for innovation center

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is starting up a new research center thanks to a $15 million gift from insurance broker Acrisure.

The Acrisure Center for Innovation in Children’s Health will back cutting-edge treatments for kids, Spectrum Health announced Thursday. It will start with programs in genomics and virtual health care.

“We’re thrilled to accelerate our focus in the areas of genomics, precision medicine and other innovative advancements in care for children,” Spectrum Health President and CEO Tina Freese Decker said in a statement.

“Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital embodies our passion for innovation and strategic growth and is a partnership we’re intensely proud to be part of,” Acrisure President and CEO Greg Williams added. “It is my hope the commitment to form the Acrisure Center for Innovation in Children’s Health will have a lasting impact on families throughout the community.”

Acrisure says the idea for the center came about when it decided to move its headquarters from Caledonia to downtown Grand Rapids. The insurance broker plans to set up shop in the new Studio Park in 2021. It said it wanted to give back to the community in the process.

“We think (Acrisure) is a West Michigan success story,” company spokesperson Elliott Bundy said. “We feel very strongly about our roots in the community and we feel strongly about doing right by the community, making that impact in an area that is broad and meaningful to as many people as possible.”

Bundy said the $15 million gift will be distributed to the hospital over the course of several years. While the money will primarily go to genomics and innovative care research, the funds will be flexible so they can be applied elsewhere as needed. 

The hospital said the gift means it will be able to better tailor treatments to its young patients and streamline the services it offers. 

“The support, not only the dollars, but the support of the volunteers from Acrisure, the engagement by the employees and the community around this, it really brings it all together because it does take all of us to improve health care,” Freese Decker said.

The hospital and the insurance broker say they don’t have an exact launch date for the center but are hoping to get started as soon as possible. 

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